Earl's Pearls
By Earl Meyers

Keith Whitley is no longer with us in country music, but his memory leaves a lasting impression on many. His distinctive voice will be remembered along with his failure to cope with the success that he no doubt had worked hard most of his life to attain. It is a sad lesson, but also a powerful one, about what can happen when self-abuse is out of control.

Keith's number one hit "Don't Close Your Eyes" was my favorite country song of 1988. The lyrics didn't knock me out, but the song is well written, has an excellent vocal and melody, and I enjoy listening to it every time I hear it.

In March I mentioned why songwriters chose "Chiseled in Stone" Song of the Year -- because of its powerful "hook" and title. In June, I'm paying tribute to a "good ole" country singer that won't be around to sing my favorite country song of 1988.

Rest in peace, Keith.